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Federal authorities charged two people last week with distributing counterfeit drugs containing fentanyl that caused the death of a man in November 2020.
Mirela "Mimi" Todorova, 33, and Mucktarr Kather Sei, 36, were indicted last week by a federal grand jury with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances resulting in death and one count of distribution of fentanyl resulting in death. Todorova is also charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and one count of possession with intent to distribute MDMA, based on drugs recovered in her Hollywood apartment before her arrest in March 2021.
Though the man who died is only identified in court documents as "R.M.," the Los Angeles Times reported that his full name was Ray Mascolo, 37. Mascolo was the son of Bruno and Kyara Mascolo, who co-founded the beauty company Bed Head, and that he
left behind a 4-year-old daughter when he died on Nov. 16, 2020.
A statement by the office of the U.S. Attorney for Central California called the indictments "the result of an investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Overdose Justice Task Force."
Prosecutors allege that Sei was one of more than a dozen drivers who delivered various drugs — including the counterfeit oxycodone pills that caused Mascolo's death — to Todorova's customers around the Los Angeles area. After he had been driving for her for a while, court documents reviewed by Oxygen.com allege that she began to use Sei to package up duffel bags of drugs for other drivers, parcel out individual bags of drugs for sale, "bake" ketamine in her oven and create custom blends of other drugs, like cocaine and MDMA, using alternative ingredients.
Investigators first identified Todorova, who already pleaded not guilty to the two possession charges, after Mascolo's family were able to access his laptop in December 2020 and found iMessages he'd exchanged with a woman he'd called "Mimi Snowie" starting around 8:00 p.m. on the night before his body was discovered.
"Heyy," he wrote. What’s good babe Been a fucking minute"
"U got bars, lean, girl?" he added. "But Intl super fire girl." ("Bars" referred to Xanax, while "lean" referred to a derivative of a codeine-based cough syrup.)
She allegedly wrote back, "Delivery available: I have C, M, K, pink 2CB, addy, xan, oxy blues, acid, mushrooms, mushroom chocolates."
The message, which prosecutors say was a cut and paste list she also provided drivers with, included the prices for each and noted that delivery was $30 (with a $230 minimum purchase). She allegedly accepted payments via CashApp, Apple Pay, Zelle, Paypal or Venmo in addition to cash.
"Dope," Mascolo replied. "Ill take 2 Oxy blues and like A 40 blow"
He then asked to pick up the drugs, but Todorova allegedly told him she was only doing deliveries that day; prosecutors say that she was in Mexico at the time, where she kept a pet panther at a boarding facility. She also allegedly told him that her cocaine was pre-measured in grams, and her drivers couldn't split them up, but offered him the two supposed oxycodone pills and the gram of cocaine for $160 plus the $30 delivery fee.
Mascolo confirmed the transaction around 10:15, and the driver — who Todorova said would be driving a white Honda — arrived around 10:30. (Sei, prosecutors say, owns a white Honda.)
But before he did, Mascolo had a few questions.
"So there is zero codeine, codeine syrup, Vicodin, percs? Just oxy and That’s it?" he asked, which Todorova confirmed.
"Lmk for the codeine products ASAP u know that’s what I really need," he wrote, as he apparently went to accept the delivery.
Less than half an hour later, Mascolo wrote back, asking to trade the cocaine for more five more oxycodone pills, effectively asking for her to discount the pills from the $30 she charged to $20. Todorova allegedly agreed, and her driver returned an hour later — just after midnight — to make the exchange.
Prosecutors allege that Sei was the driver for both transactions.
When Mascolo's body was discovered the following morning, agents recovered: a small plastic baggie containing crushed blue tablets, a small plastic baggie containing two tablets with the markings “M” one side and “30” on the other, a loose tablet, an empty plastic baggie, a rolled-up $10 bill, a plastic baggie containing a folded $20 bill with white residue and two prescription bottles containing the anti-depressant Trazadone and a common anti-viral medication, respectively.
An autopsy determined that Mascolo had died of the effects of alcohol, clonazepam and fentanyl. (The FDA warned doctors in 2016 that the combination of opioids and benzodiazepines, including clonazepam, carried a strong risk of overdose.) There was no apparent oxycodone in his system.
Tests on the rolled-up $10 bill and the baggie with the folded $20 and the $20 bill all came back positive for fentanyl and acetaminophen. The baggie with the crushed tablets was positive for fentanyl, tramadol (a synthetic prescription opioid), acetaminophen, dipyrone (a non-opioid painkiller), caffeine, and lidocaine (a local anesthetic). The bag of intact pills and the loose pill also tested positive for fentanyl and acetaminophen.
Todorova allegedly texted Mascolo's phone in December 2020 and January 2021 offering more drugs for sale in a seemingly cut-and-pasted message.
Prosecutors allege that Todorova received at least some of her supply from and Arrellano-Felix Cartel stash house in Los Angeles, and had Sei pay for and accept a delivery of 1,000 "blues" from a supplier named Eric in late November 2020. In December 2020, two of Todorova's clients allegedly informed her that there was fentanyl in her alleged oxycodone pills — one did so following his release from the hospital after an overdose — which she acknowledged but apparently did little about. Another client allegedly texted her in February 2021 to complain that his supply had tested positive twice for fentanyl and to ask her to replace it; it's unclear from the criminal complaint whether she did so. Her supply, prosecutors say, began to run low in February 2021.
On March 24, 2021, Todorova was arrested and her car and apartment were searched. The criminal complaint against her says that police recovered just over 900 grams of cocaine (which they further allege she was regularly cutting with lidocaine before selling it to customers), pills containing just over two grams of MDMA, just under 90 grams of ketamine, nine bags of pills (but only one fake oxycodone pill which the lab determined contained fentanyl), psilocybin and lidocaine.
In an interview with Customs and Border Patrol on March 4, 2021 after returning from a trip to Mexico, Todorova allegedly told agents she'd been laid off from her job at Thermo Fisher Scientific in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, evidence recovered from her phone allegedly showed that Todorova had exchanged messages with Mascolo at least as far back as 2018.
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